Disability Tax Credit denied - ask for review or appeal?


#1

My application for the Disability Tax Credit was denied in January.
Just some background first. I have Cauda Equina Syndrome from a herniated disc which impinged on my spinal cord last August. After emergency surgery, I was left with significant nerve damage to my left leg, hip and foot and some nerve damage to my right leg and foot.
Like a lot of people, I was shocked by the denial. The CRA website clearly states that eligibility requires that my disability be prolonged and that it markedly restrict at least one activity of daily living. Mine is walking. This was backed up by the physiatrist who completed the medical portion of my application. The only thing that may have sunk my application was that CRA asked the physiatrist for an update in November. In her update she said I would continue to recover over the next 12 months, which the CRA may have taken to mean my disability was not prolonged (btw, my physiatrist didn’t base this prognosis on anything but wishful thinking). And while she answered “yes” to the question of whether I would have difficulty walking 100 metres, she added in her comments that I could walk two city blocks, which may have been seen as contradicting her previous answer. Who knows.
In December I began suffering from serious back pain all over my back. I am now able to walk with mobility aids, but with difficulty and a pronounced limp. My physiotherapist believes the back pain is from the nerve damage to my left leg and hip causing a drop and wobbling motion in my hip when I limp and with a weak lower back my muscles are constantly in spasm.
In January I received the denial notice from CRA. I called them for clarification, but the agent was less than helpful on that front. She did say that I could ask for a review with a letter from my physiatrist with any new information. She said this would take less time than an appeal.
I contacted the physiatrist and she examined me with my new back issues. She wrote a letter updating the CRA on my back pain and how the pain, along with my nerve damaged legs, markedly impacts my walking. She also clarified to the CRA that my nerve damage was permanent, would not improve, and that, consistent with their eligibility requirements, it takes me three times longer than a normal person to walk 100 metres.
That was early January. So now I wait. Should I call CRA to follow up?
Has anyone else gone through the review process after a denial of their Disability Tax Credit application? How long did it take to get an answer?
As I said to my physiatrist, the entire process, from the Kafkaesque wording to the long waits and the arbitrary nature of the denials is designed to keep even eligible disabled people from getting a penny from the government. Take a look at the animated video the CRA provides on their website as an example of an eligible disabled person whose walking is markedly restricted. Remember as you watch it that this tax credit is supposed to be for people who can still work. How is the person in that video supposed to work? They look like they are about to keel over and die!
Anyway, any help or advise would be greatly appreciated.


#2

My opinion is that they are denying a lot of people for no reason because many people will give up, just like CPP-D does.
I got it before when it was easier.

You’re nerve damage probably affects your ability to do daily living tasks…
Dressing is maybe more difficult and slower.
How are cooking, eating, etc. affected.


#3

The documents I sent CRA for review in January included my own letter and the one from my physiatrist. In my own letter I emphasized my difficulty dressing as well as walking, though I could have included meal prep and house work too. I read on their website that if you have two or more activities of daily living impacted, then each activity does not have to be markedly restricted, just significantly restricted.
All this wording is so subjective and arbitrary.


#4

I think mine was the cumulative of everything and not 1 thing.
I don’t envy people applying for it now, seems more stressful.
Good luck.


#5

Hi, my son was been diagnosed by “Autism Disorder Syndrome” at the age of four. The DACS gave us form to apply for Disability Credit Tax because we are qualified. I apply last week and I need to know if there’s a chance of approval on my application?

On my application, I attached the diagnosis result coming from DACS… is it enough documents or not?


#6

Write a letter about a typical day and difficulties he has. Eg. Getting him dressed is a struggle because of x, y z reasons. The same for eating, etc.
Sure there is a chance of approval and there is a chance of denial.


#7

Hi, us the 12 reports from Children Treatment Network not enough as supporting documents


#8

I mean 12 pages of reports from CTN not enough


#9

It might be enough.
My layman’s opinion is a letter in your own words is better.
Assume they will read you’re letter and not the 12 pages.
I am just giving my opinion, I don’t know.
If my job was to approve/deny thousands of applications, I wouldn’t want to read 12 pages for each application.
The tendency seems to deny a lot more now so you have to make it easy for them to approve.
Maybe your case is simple to approve, I don’t know.
Best of luck.

EDIT: I didn’t notice you had already applied.
It might be enough.
Wait and see.
They are super busy this time of year.
Good luck.


#10

Don’t stress too much on this. If denied you can ask for a reconsideration and add more documents. A friend had to add a few letters from her child’s teachers.
So an initial denial can be rectified. It is just a waiting game now